Handscomb called in to action as injuries rock Australia
Peter Handscomb, in the World Cup squad due to Shaun Marsh's broken arm, will go straight in to Australia's XI to face South Africa if Glenn Maxwell fails to recover from his own injury.
Handscomb was due to arrive in Manchester on Friday after being rushed into Australia's World Cup squad just hours after Shaun Marsh's campaign was ended by a Patrick Cummins thunderbolt at training.
The blow in the nets fractured Marsh's right arm with the West Australian set for surgery.
Cummins also ended Shikhar Dhawan's World Cup last month when a bouncer fractured the Indian opener's thumb, despite Dhawan batting on that day to make 117 (109).
In a cruel twist, Marsh only replaced Maxwell in the fast bowler's net at Thursday's savage session because a Mitchell Starc bouncer forced Maxwell into hospital for scans that thankfully cleared Maxwell's right arm of serious damage.
"Pete is a like-for-like player, in terms of batting in the middle order, and he performed very well for us during our recent tours in India and the UAE," coach Justin Langer said.
"We'll continue to monitor Maxwell over the coming days. We are hopeful he will be fit against South Africa."
Handscomb was four hours away with Australia A in Brighton when he got the call. The right-hander was averaging 74.5 runs as wicket-keeper in the reserve team's four wins against County teams.
Handscomb played in all 13 ODIs for Australia this year leading into the World Cup, averaging 43.5 runs at a strike-rate of 98.2
The elegant batsman came close to booking his ticket to the World Cup with a match-winning 117 (105) against India in Mohali that kept the ODI series alive.
But Handscomb was punted to make way for Steve Smith with the 15-man World Cup squad announced just days before he married bride Sarah.
"As I said to him, 'I'm not going to tell you any lies, you were just so unlucky'," Langer recently told the Herald Sun.
"Steve Smith is one of the all-time greats and he's replaced you. There's nothing else too it."
But Handscomb and Smith will bat together on Saturday night should Maxwell be ruled out of the clash at Old Trafford.
Regardless of tonight's selection, Handscomb will remain with Australia's World Cup squad for the semi-final and, potentially, next Sunday's final at Lord's.